Adult literacy council Turning Pages SC has appointed Lisa Cole, Owner-Operator of Vestra Lingua Publishing, as Board Chair-as-Interim Executive Director. Nearly 800,000 adults statewide lack basic reading skills, a fact the nonprofit seeks to change.
“It is humbling to serve this organization. The Turning Pages legacy in Columbia dates to the 1960s and Debbie Yoho’s two decade tenure was an unparalleled literary success,” Cole said.
“Our tutoring programs are face-to-face, so the past two years hit hard. I am in awe of the core volunteers who kept this nonprofit alive. Our board members and advocates bring such passion to the table. We are all excited for a great 2023 as we revamp our programmatic structure, curriculum offerings, and tutor base.”
Cole holds an MBA, is a United Way Blueprint for Leadership graduate, and has a history of serving nonprofits, public education and the writing world. She has guided development of nearly 250 policies for various groups, sat on over 30 committees, authored two picture books, and led the production of over a dozen other books for local authors. Cole also served five years as an elected board member for East Point Academy and two years as the Governance Chair for the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition Board of Directors. She is active in leadership for the Junior League of Columbia and is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Author’s Guild, and SC Technical Educators Association.
Chris Keefer, president of K2 Communications of SC, LLC and immediate past chair, will now serve as the board’s treasurer and grant manager. Janie Kronk, Dr. LeConte Middleton and Michelle Rosanthal will remain on the board with Dr. Austin Floyd, Emily Davison and Kara Cieri joining them.
“As a lifelong reader, I am inspired by the dedication of this board and look forward to seeing the impact the revitalized programs make within the community,” Cieri said,
SCDE retiree John Myers, a past Executive Director of Turning Pages, leads tutor training which starts back up in November. New board members, advocates, trainers and tutors are being recruited.
Founded in 1968 as the Greater Columbia Literacy Council, Turning Pages has helped thousands of adults in the Midlands breathe easier in a text-based world. Using Frank Laubach’s methods, they offer free, one-on-one intensive tutoring for adult learners wanting to improve their skills in reading.
Volunteer tutors receive free training and are then matched with learners and ready-to-use curriculum bags. Tutoring takes place at times convenient to both the tutor and the learner, and is held at public partner locations such as in a reserved room at the Richland Library. More than 1,700 tutors have served Turning Pages since its founding.